This sales pitch for pet parrots is from a small undated booklet (probably around 1880-1890). It is an interesting read but certainly in error in regards to a lot of the information. However, it is information from that period of time. Max Geisler was a German immigrant who eventually started Geisler's Seed Company, which is a pet industry company that makes seed mixes and is now part of Sergeants. They make a 'vitamin-enriched' seed mix - I am not a fan of this type of product because, to me, it is like putting vitamins for kids on a candy bar wrapper.)
GEISLER'S PARROT TALKERS
Exclusively Imported Direct from Certain Districts in Old Mexico Known Only to Me, and therefore Absolutely Unobtainable from any Other Dealer
If you could resist, the gladness and the smiles’ which an intelligent parrot would bring to your home, you would be an exception to the rule. A real laugh is one of Nature’s greatest benefits.
No family is too happy to appreciate rise, droll and witty sayings of “Polly,’’ nor is any family so serious that these pranks and ‘‘stunts’’ will fail, to bring that much—sought blessing—a smile.
Almost every conceivable animal, bird, reptile, and even fish, are domesticated and made objects of interest to those who care for them. A smart parrot is in a class by itself, because its wonderful imitations of the human voice usually bring forth something new and different every day—your interest is never allowed to flag.
I have had twenty years of experience in trying to please this public wills household pets. I am free to confess that I know of nothing more appropriate or more sure to please than a high-grade, carefully raised parrot.
With this thought in mind, I am enabled to offer my registered “Human Talker” a parrot which is raised by hand with almost as much care as my children receive. Their foods, housing, and everything necessary to make them comfortable and healthy are carefully watched. My long experience in raising pets of all kinds has taught me valuable methods which have a decided effect in every “Human-Talker.” This superior breed of parrots cannot be duplicated anywhere. I am the only dealer who sells them, as I import these birds myself from certain districts in Old Mexico only known to me.
A “Human-Talker” has a greater repertoire of quaint and comic expressions than any other kind of parrot. Perfect mimicry of a cat, dog, and especially of the human voice, are mastered with ease and rapidity. These imitations of the human voice are remarkable and practically impossible to detect from the genuine. Polly will often fool you in calling your name, crying a distressing remark in a perfectly natural tone, and then looking owlishly innocent when you have hurried to see with the matter is. These intelligent birds are always learning, therefore as entertainers are constantly affording fresh amusement by picking up some remark made within their hearing, which the will offer at some inopportune moment, to the amusement and chagrin of all present.
Articulation and even, well-toned accent are particular achievements of the “Human Talkers,” which make their imitations so striking and amusing. The “Human Talker” not only talks more pleasing and has a greater vocabulary than any other, but he also has a greater vocabulary than any other, but he also whistles and sings and carries an entire tune. It is not unusual for him to conduct a lengthy conversation full of laughs and surprises.
Among the many ludicrous events occasioned by Polly’s waggishness is the following, printed in an Eastern magazine, which vouches for its truth:
It seems that a good Christian woman owned a parrot which she bought from an old sailor. The parrot was a good talker but was very profane in its language. Besides, it had the habit of repeating this sentence: “Oh, I wish you were dead.” The owner was at a loss as to what to do to break the parrot of using swear-words, and consulted her pastor, who happened to have a model parrot, one which he had trained to repeat several bible quotations and a short blessing whenever it was about to be fed with some special dainty food which it fancied. The minister advised the woman to bring her parrot to his home, suggesting that perhaps his pious parrot would reform it. The experiment was tried. After the parrots had been eyeing each other for a short time the wicked parrot repeated its favorite sentence, “Oh, I wish you were dead.” Whereupon the pious parrot replied, “Lord, answer our prayers.” It is needless to say that the reformation was not accomplished.
An auctioneer, wishing to make his parrot useful as well as ornamental in a business way, taught it to repeat the words, “One at a time, please. Do not crowd.” This sentence was intended for the benefit of customers who were crowding about his counter inspecting goods offered for sale. One day a dog-fight occurred in the store, during which the parrot’s cage got upset. The parrot got mixed up in the fracas, and very beseechingly repeated its favorite sentence for the benefit of the canines, “One at a time, please. Do not crowd.”
A Nebraska woman is the possessor of a parrot which is more eloquent than polite at times. When visitors call, if the parrot feels that it is being neglected, it volunteers a statement like this: “It is time to be going. Here is your hat and there is the door,” and then inquiringly asks, “What’s your hurry?”
An Omaha woman has taught her parrot to sing, “Yankee Doodle” A phonograph was recently added to the household attractions. The parrot was taught to render its selections into the instrument, which were then reproduced with extraordinary results upon the parrot. The parrot, unable to locate its double, finally said, “Close your face, you silly thing, you make me tired.”
Let me show you how exact must be the care and rearing of baby parrots. Years ago I visited Mexico, the land of parrots, and made a thorough and exhaustive study of these birds — the methods of catching, raising and teaching them. I experimented year after year until I discovered the best of native methods and invented many of my own. Sifting the best
of both, I now have a definite, perfect plan, which insures a superior bird in both health and intelligence. This was possible because I put my whole energy and ability into the work. That I have been rewarded for my efforts is attested many times over in the praise that my “Human-Talker” invariably receives at the hands of its owner.
You probably know that no wild bird or animal, captured after maturity, can be successfully tamed. After they once know the freedom which nature intended, they do not take kindly to caging. Training young birds is easy. All “Human-Talkers” are under my training and instruction from the time they are taken from the nest, which is shortly after hatching until they are shipped with a written guarantee to talk in six months.
Originally, on my first trip to Mexico, I sought out an old Mexican who made a specialty of a supplying the market with parrots. With him I made arrangements to secure my parrots, according to my own ideas. The young birds are taken from the nest just as soon as they are hatched; then they are brought to a warm, clean hut, which we use as a sort of nursery. Here they receive their special foods and first training. Now I have several of my own skilled men go to Mexico every season to secure the parrots and feed and raise them after my own method until ready to be shipped to Omaha.
These tiny baby birds, taken from the nest before feathering, are coddled along (brought up on the bottle so to speak), until they show signs of strength. Rest assured it does not take them long to cry lustily when feeding time is due. Before they are ready to be shipped, they are well used to being fed by my attendants. Never having known other parentage than the one which we give them, they look always to some person as their protector and provider. At times their affection is most touching, and it is safe to say that a short time only is required before they have won over all feminine hearts within reach.
Every delicacy which could delight their little parrot appetites and at the same time prove healthful, is given them. It is very important, however, not to over-feed the little gourmands, for they will eat in a manner that belies the common interpretation of “birdlike appetite.”
Soon after the baby parrots make their appearance the natives climb the trees and gather the birds to baskets. Then they are turned over to my men who feed them by hand (therefore the expression. “hand-fed” or “hand-raised” and nurse them along as I have told you. All foods given them are special; these are compounds which I have perfected along with my process. Most Mexicans feed little parrots a food known as “mazza.” This is made by first boiling, then crushing corn between two stones to a tender pulp. My Baby Parrot food is similar, but contains in addition several ingredients which have helped so materially in promoting the health and strength of young birds, that I now have the mixture fed to each bird under my care.
You would be interested to see feeding time, where several hundred little parrot voices shriek forth— their mouths agape, their eyes riveted upon the attendant - eager and hungry for the preparation which we feed them with a spoon. This they attack vociferously, closing their eyes to enjoy to its fullest the morsel they have so strenuously demanded.
Now you can see what I mean by “hand-raised” and “hand-fed,” both of which means much if you would have a parrot affectionate and intelligent. Your affection and admiration are soon won by one of these little birds. It will not show the least sign of wildness - on the contrary. Just as soon as it feels properly acquainted with you it will begin to show signs of friendship and trust. Feeding times will win its regard rapidly. Their intelligence quickly informs them who to look to for food.
Your purchase of a ‘‘Human-Talker” assures you at once of perfect satisfaction because I have taken such unusual care in the intelligent rearing of each bird that I guarantee in writing every bird which I sell. This guarantee means that your satisfaction is necessary or you may return the bird. I have tried to show you that my “Human-Talker” is exceptional, and hope that I have succeeded. You will surely grant that I could hardly afford to give the guarantee which I do unless these birds were all that I claim them.
No like amount of money could he spent which would yield so large and lasting a return of pleasure and enjoyment as will be yours when you own a “Human-Talker.” Other parrots may talk, but not show the marked intelligence and alertness which distinguishes a “Human-Talker” raised by my methods and under my supervision. That these statements may ring true to you, who are reading my words at a distance, I give my guarantee that you may to know each and every claim is sincere and honest.
The first lessons the little parrots receive from their teachers are lasting, if properly followed up. Parrots of a high grade, such as these “Human-Talkers” learn to speak quite fluently at a surprisingly early age. It is not uncommon for them to talk plainly at twelve weeks of age, and they always talk with ease after six months training.
Send your money to me in a safe way - use bank draft, money order, or express order. This will insure its delivery to me promptly and safely. I make shipments by express. All orders are filled promptly.
President Max Geisler Bird Co. Write plainly and address all communications and remittances to
Max Geisler Bird Co.